Updated: Oct 10
The New Testament - He Lived!
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
So remember when God appointed David as King? Remember that face we made and likely David and his family made, too?
Well, we're making that face again today because when God has sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to rescue us, it was not in the way the people expected...
He was not sent as an adult man of incredible military and muscular strength, not even as a man of high status... Instead, God sends Jesus to earth dependent on another human for everything - sustenance, clothing, shelter and care. He sends Him as a humble baby who must learn how to hold a spoon, how to make his bed, how to memorize Scripture as a young Jewish child - all so He can serve His people.
He came not to be served but to serve.
It's completely upside down from what we'd think, right?
And it's a very humble beginning - born in a smelly manger, we see why Jesus came - to save us from our sin and our mess. Even more, we see God has never been afraid of our mess. He's never been the God who watches us in our mess from a safe distance in heaven. He stepped down and entered into our mess. Though Jesus is fully God, He became fully man, so He could restore us into close, eternal relationship with God once and for all.
So today, we're going to spend some time learning about His life. Often, there's more emphasis on Christmas and Easter - His birth and His death, and of course, we've spent and will spend time on this, too. But, here's where I find so much comfort -
God didn't just send Jesus to earth for a moment. He could have defeated sin in the blink of an eye, but instead, He sent Jesus to live over thirty years on earth. Fully God yet fully man, He knows our griefs. He's not just known as the Man of Sorrows; He lived this out. He knows our temptations. He knows what it's like to hunger and thirst, to lose oneself in laughter with good friends and also be betrayed by another considered a brother.
We don't serve a God who is so far removed from our difficulties and pain, emotions and joy. We serve a God who knows this first-hand through His Son, Jesus.
So yes, it's a miracle Jesus came and Jesus died for our sins, but dear friend, oh dear friend... Jesus lived!
Though Jesus' ministry did not begin until He was thirty years old, we get a small glimpse into His childhood. First, we see the humility of God - coming as one who had to grow and become strong and learn.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. - Luke 2:40
At age twelve, Jesus and his family are in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. At the end, He decides to stay behind but doesn't tell His parents. After three tireless days of searching for him (can you imagine their blood pressure?!), they find Him with the other children playing tag in the field.
Not quite. Let's try that again...
...they find Him in the temple of all places! Sitting with the religious teachers, I'm sure Joseph and Mary were in this strange place of shocked and not shocked at all. (If you know of a word for that, leave me a comment.) They're shocked because no other twelve year olds have the desire or understanding to spend three days listening to the teachers and asking them questions. And yet, not shocked at all because while everyone was amazed with His understanding, as His parents, they knew all along He was the Son of God.
Imagine parenting the Son of God!
Preparations for the King
Jesus continues to grow and now the time has come for preparations to be made for His ministry. The word of God came to John, the man whose own miraculous birth was foretold and whose purpose was to "make ready for the Lord a people prepared." (Luke 1:17)
So we see John do just that. In the wilderness.
Keep this in mind.
He goes throughout the region around the Jordan River, baptizing people and preparing the way for the Lord. Then, he baptizes Jesus and...
...the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." - Luke 3:21-22
Oh, the splendor of this moment! A Father taking great delight in His Son - so much so, He is moved - to open the heavens and draw near. Isn't it wonderful to see we serve a God who feels deeply, who longs to be known?
After this, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for forty days. We often think of wilderness and solitude as weakness. At least, I know I used to. That is, until I experienced a wilderness season in my own life. Now, I pay unique attention to how the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness - not to be at His weakest before being tempted by Satan but to be strengthened.
I've learned the space of solitude is a spiritual discipline for the Christian life. It’s necessary for us to be strengthened.
After His time in the wilderness, it says,
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out throughout all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. - Luke 4:14
He is strengthened from His time in the wilderness, and soon, He goes into a synagogue on the Sabbath in Nazareth, His hometown. You'd think it would be like the hometown visits on American Idol - everyone eager to greet and welcome Him back with open arms...
...but instead they rejected Him. Here's what happened:
He stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and read the following:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." - Luke 4:18-19
Rolling up the scroll, He gives it back to them and everyone is staring at Him. ...then, He "drops the mic," so to say. He says,
"Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." - Luke 4:21
Yep. Mic drop.
So here's what just happened - Jesus reads a scripture from hundreds of years ago telling of the coming Messiah. Everyone in this room knows this scripture by heart; they've been waiting for the Messiah to come. Then, Jesus says, "Oh, and that which I just read - we're no longer waiting for that to happen. It has been fulfilled. I'm the one you've been waiting for. I am the Messiah."
Yes, chins to the FLOOR!!!
But not because they were humbled and amazed. They were angered and filled with doubt. They had seen Him grow up as Joseph's oldest son. How could it be? The neighborhood kid, Jesus, the Son of God?!
A mic drop like that deserves a few days to soak it in. It was big news then and it is big news still today.
I'm thankful you're walking with me on this journey through the New Testament. Whether you're a Christ-follower or not, this is for you to decide. I simply want to help you understand The Bible so you can make an informed decision.
A decision as weighty as your eternity deserves your time and thought, don't you think?
Friend, I'm already looking forward to our time together again... Until next week!
May we find strength in the Word of God. May our joy for reading scripture grow as we intentionally choose to set aside time to spend reading it each day. May our peace overflow as the Word of God reads us and changes us from the inside out. Then, we will know rest this world can't give.
Remember how we said 5 minutes a day can change your day, your life and even your eternity? Well, here's what I'll be reading this week. I really hope you'll join me!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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